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The Hungarian Royal Opera House was built for the millennium celebrations of 1884

Budapest Opera House

Address: 6th district, Andrássy út 22

How to get there: Metro M1 to Opera

Box office opens: 10am 7pm daily, Guided Tours 3pm and 4pm daily

The Hungarian Royal Opera House, as it was originally called, was planned in commemoration of the Hungarian millennium celebrations. Construction of the neo-Renaissance building, designed by Miklós Ybl, was completed in 1884.

Fine artwork of leading Hungarian artists decorates the building. There is a drive-in entrance for cars and carriages underneath the risalit, with two large statues from Alajos Stróbl on either side: sculptures of Franz Liszt (composer of the Hungarian national anthem) and Ferenc Erkel (first director of the opera house). The façade of the building is decorated with 16 statues, representing the world's greatest composers, including Monteverdi, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Verdi, and Bizet. They are accompanied by representations of the muses of opera, proportionally situated between the Corinthian columns. A vestibule hides beyond the main entrance, decorated with allegorical frescoes from Bertalan Székely. The entrance to the foyer is decorated by landscapes from Árpád Feszty. The horseshoe-shaped, three storey auditorium is tediously ornamented; over seven kilograms of gold were used to finish its decoration. It seats over 1200 people; the ceiling is decorated with a fresco by Károly Lotz, depicting Olympus, home of the Gods.

The Austrian Asphaleia Company supplied technical equipment. The building has excellent acoustics, a well planned air-conditioning system, and a well proportioned design - all unique in the 19th century architecture. Nevertheless, at the 100th anniversary of it’s opening, the building underwent reconstruction, and was reopened in 1984.

The cast performs in two locations: the Opera House, and the Erkel Theatre. The number of performances approach 350, consisting of around 50 operas and 30 ballets.

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